PRAYING AT THE PAGODA
and flowers, daintily arranged on lacquer dishes, are laid before the shrines and left for the birds and dogs to eat. There are here no religious services, no priestly ceremonies ; the Shway Dagohn is simply a holy place for prayer and meditation, a shrine where the heart is lifted up by contemplating the three precious things, the Lord, the Law, and the Assembly. To call the statues of Gautauma idols and the Burmans idolaters is to
show a profound ignorance of the essential beliefs of Buddhism. There is no God in Buddhism, and Gautauma Buddha is not deified by his followers. His memory is revered and loved, and his great example followed, more or less, but even here in his holiest shrine he is not worshipped in the religious sense. The prayers we hear uttered with so much earnestness are not being said for benefit or for aid, but the praises of Buddha are being sung and his commandments repeated, till the worshipper brings his mind into sympathy with the great Ideal.
PRAYING AT THE PAGODA.PRAYING AT THE PAGODA.